its pagan origins...
"The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-christian times, with the festival of Flora, the roman goddess of flowers, the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries." ... Wikipedia.
from "The Origins and Traditions of Mayday... "It was the festive holy day celebrating the first spring planting. The ancient Celts and Saxons celebrated May 1st as Bealtaine, or the day of fire."
its political origins here in Australia...
"From 1887 to 1889 the 1st May was remembered and celebrated in Australia only by anarchists associated with the Melbourne Anarchist Club." Read more from Radical Tradition.
From Workers Online: "The first May Day march was held in Barcaldine in 1891 by striking shearers. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that 1340 took part.
Henry Lawson's well known poem Freedom on the Wallaby ... was composed in Brisbane at the time the striking shearers were facing the troopers guns at Barcaldine."
"... So we must fly a rebel flag
As others did before us,
And we must sing a rebel song
And join in rebel chorus.
We'll make the tyrants feel the sting
O'those that they would throttle;
They needn't say the fault is ours
If blood should stain the wattle"
the pagan is political...
i came across this article by the Midnight Notes collective, and found it very interesting reading... The Incomplete, True, Authentic and Wonderful History of MAY DAY - go on, check it out!